It probably doesn't mean jack to you that DJ Craze has won the DMC DJ World Championships two years running; that he's considered the greatest turntable manipulator/beat-juggler on Earth; that he can perform vinylistic miracles that'll leave your jaw dropped, your tongue dragging and your brain burnt. That when he's got one finger on a record and the other on the fader, they're jittering with the delicacy, focus and finesse of (insert guitar hero of choice here). He uses wah-wah pedals and distortion boxes when he's DJ-ing, for godsakes. What more do you need?
Those who have seen 21-year-old DJ Craze on stage have this twinkle in their eye when his name comes up, a twinkle that shines through on his solo debut, Crazeë Musick (Bomb Hip Hop). Where his turntablist compadres prop real-deal hip-hop without acknowledging the larger world of beats, Craze has his rubber fingers all over the place: on the transcendent East Flatbush Project remix CD -- where Craze's version of "Tried By" sits alongside the work of Squarepusher, Autechre and Funkstörung, among others -- on the phenomenal Fathomless collaboration with DJ Faust and Shortee, where he samples, among others, Roni Size; on a forthcoming schizotronica EP with fellow Miamians Push Button Objects. Craze seems to appreciate drum & bass as much as he does hip & hop, a fact that immediately expands his palette and creates more colors in his mixing. Also on the bill are Craze's partner from the Allies Crew, Infamous, and three of St. Louis' finest turntablists, K-Nine, Tré and Two Tone. (RR)